Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 27

Part Two highlights a series of panels featuring playwrights, director"
actors, and designers, and a loose "Fireside Chat" of Joseph Chaikin's
dealing mainly with the nature and philosophy of artistic problem-solving
in an ensemble.
Part Three deals with insights arrived at through experience of
theatres as growth-oriented producing organizations. "Institutionalization: Bane or Blessing to the Art of Theatre?" in a nutshell keynotes the
entire conference, dealing with questions about the art and nature of
theatre: do you support it? how do you support it? why do you support it?
what is it in your mind? in your community? why do theatre at all?
Three further discussions focus on the audience, a marketing look at
why people go to the theatre, an anthropological look at why people
don't go to the theatre, and a press/public relations view. Two sessions
cover the material staged: sources and resources, contacts and contracts. Three further panels deal with the Board: in its organic process, in
meeting the changing needs of an institution, and in its role in fundraising. And a final discussion centers on advocacy, the process of
persuasion in gaining legislative support beneficial to nonprofit arts
The Conclusion features a summary, final remarks, photo album, and
a listing of participants.
The work is another in TCG's string of documents intended to be
timely and indicative of the seriousness and range of the professional
theatre's self-image, nature and concerns. As a transcript of the
conference's two main aims-looking at developments and trends in
fields such as science, sociology and philosophy, and sharing esthetic
concerns with leading theatre artists-the document succeeds. In fact, it
is intriguing to think what further impact the report might have with the
inclusion of a series of background papers distributed to each participant
beforehand as a thoughtful provocation. The edited papers evidently
included stimulating writings from Alvin Tottler, Jorge Luis Borges, and
the like.
There is a sense of mission about the document. Indeed, the
strongest feature, the "visionary" aspect, is the profundity of some of the
social, political and biological concepts the theatre people were presented with by the four prominent contemporary thinkers. And in many
cases, not only the scientists' sensibilities but also the artists' were
strongly apparent in the various excerpts.
Another highlight is Kenneth Brecher's summary which, though
personal in nature, serves well to pinpoint some of the really important
truths of the conference, which battle-weary participants, at the endpoint of fatigue, need to have emphasized: the anecdotes, peopleoriented social nature of theatre, the past-present-future time-quotient
truth about creating; the traps, limits, boundaries, and visions of today as
it is lived in history; articulateness, dependency, power, social perspective; the sacred triangle of man, nature and spirit; the profundity of
simplicity; heroes, images, praise, public adulation, control, hunger,
malaise. And a wonderful summary couched in a Ming Cho Lee
comment about the privilege of being a theatre artist because one's life,
pursuits, ethics, and moral values are part of one's work, and not to be
separated. The conference seemed to separate them so the participants
could put them back together again.
The impossible task of recording such a conference is amply served
by this chronicle. The only drawback is the multitude of small printing
and editorial errors, something uncharacteristic of TCG documents, but
probably the result of the attempt to produce a timely piece of reporting,
appearing shortly after the event.
Robert Zyromski

Lake Erie College

Rapid Viz, A New Method for the Rapid Visualization of Ideas by
Kurt Hanks and Larry Bellerston. Los Altos, CA: William Kaufman, Inc.,
1980. ISBN 0-913232-76-9, 151 pp., illus., $7.95, paper.

Rapid Viz is a new drawing manual useful for the scene designer who
would like to produce better drawings faster and for the design teacher
who can spend no more than half a semester in a scene design or scene
rendering course on drawing fundamentals.
Although nothing is strictly new in the manual, it avoids the trendy
approach suggested by the title. The book owes much to other drawing
teachers, William Lockard and Jay Doblin, but the author uses the
current thought on perception and on bicameral brain function to form
his own teaching approach. The drawing system is basically a box
system based on the conviction that the designer can tell if a box is
drawn correctly. The geometric amenities of perspective, so fascinating

USITT/Summer, 1982

to the perspectivist, are avoided in favor of a rapid and simple drawing
technique. The crisp drawings invite the reader to draw. On many pages
drawings are left incomplete to be finished by the reader.
The book both begins and ends with creative drawing techniques.
Doodles warm the reader into making marks in the first half of the book
while abstract drawings are shown in the last half of the book to be
valuable aids in thinking. This manual is intended to be rapidly consumed in the classroom but those who enjoy graphic design will savor it
for its lively style.
Tim Palkovic

Suny Plattsburgh

Mariano Fortuny: His Life and Work by Guillermo De Osma. New
York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1980. ISBN 0-8478-03279, 224pp, ill., $30.00, cloth.

Guillermo De Osma's Mariano Fortuny: His Lile and Work is an
excellent biography of a significant figure in the history of dress, textile,
and theatrical design during the first part of the twentieth-century.
Fortuny's name is usually associated with fashion and textile designs in
the 1920's and 30's. Osma corrects and expands this information in an
admirable manner that combines Fortuny's personal and artistic history
with a critical point of view. This makes the book interesting to both the
casual reader as well as the specialist.
Mariano Fortuny, 1871-1949, was an artist with far ranging interests
who during the first decades of the twentieth-century exercised an
important influence on the world of art, theatre, and fashion. The only
son of a popular Spanish painter, descended from a family long involved
in the arts, Fortuny grew up in the fin-de-siecle atmosphere of Paris and
Venice in the 1890's. Fortuny was trained as a painter and throughout
his life worked in the conservative, academic, nineteenth century style of
his father and uncles.
Fortuny was not influenced by revolutionary forces that shook the
world of art starting with the impressionists in the 1870's. He was
influenced by his immediate family environment and the Renaissance
heritage of his adopted home of Venice where he lived and worked
throughout his life. Two profound, outside influences on his work were
his interest in the multifaceted Arts and Crafts Movement and the operas
and dramatic theory of Richard Wagner. Wagnerian subjects dominate
his early painting and it was through Wagner that Fortuny was introduced to the world of the theatre and stage design.
Working along lines parallel to those being pursued by his contemporaries Adolphe Appia and Edward Gordon Craig, Fortuny recognized the
importance of lighting in stage design and was one of the pioneers in its
artistic and technological development. Utilizing a painterly approach to
lighting design Fortuny developed a revolutionary indirect lighting system that proved especially useful for lighting backdrops and cycloramas.
He also invented special lighting instruments and the "Fortuny dome" a
concave, collapsible cyclorama that was installed in several major
European theatres in the 1920's. He put his inventions and artistic ideas
to work in several productions including a collaboration with Appia
before the First World War.
It was through his interest in theatre and having designed costumes
for a production that he in turn became interested in clothing and textile
fabrication and design. Fortuny early in the century created his famous
Delphos gown. Based on classic models with its pleated Japanese silk
the dress became his hallmark. Inspired by artists of the Arts and Crafts
Movement and Renaissance artisans Fortuny dyed and painted fabrics,
designed and supervised the construction of each gown which he
viewed as a work of art. The techniques he invented and developed
were carried out by craftsmen in the workshops he founded. Simultaneously he carried on successful careers as a painter, sculptor, photographer, designer, decorator, and restorer.
Throughout his life Fortuny remained outside of the world of fashion
and trends in the world of art. His work, in many respects, represents a
continuation of Renaissance traditions and a refinement and exploration
of classic models. He was by no means a great painter but nonetheless
an important figure in design and the decorative arts.
Fortuny would no doubt be pleased with the graphic qualities of the
Rizzoli publication. Its format is large and the text and illustration, many
in color, are superb. The text is unobtrusively footnoted and the book
concludes with several valuable appendices, a bibliography and index.
Osma's book is an excellent and over due introduction to Fortuny's work
and world.
Robert C. Hansen

Bowling Green State University

Theatre Design & Technology



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982

Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 1
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 2
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 3
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - Contents
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 5
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 6
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 7
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 8
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 9
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 10
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 11
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 12
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 13
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 14
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 15
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 16
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 17
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 18
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 19
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 20
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 21
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 22
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 23
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 24
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 25
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 26
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 27
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 28
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 29
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 30
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 31
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 32
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 33
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 34
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 35
Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 1982 - 36